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Easter Sunday


This Responsorial Psalm refrain for Easter Sunday provides a truly fitting response to the astounding Good News of Jesus’ resurrection given in all three Scripture readings for today’s Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Why are we called to be glad and rejoice? Because Jesus is risen and we sing: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad. (Psalm 118: 24)

This Responsorial Psalm refrain for Easter Sunday provides a truly fitting response to the astounding Good News of Jesus’ resurrection given in all three Scripture readings for today’s Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Why are we called to be glad and rejoice? Because Jesus is risen and we sing: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Today our hearts are filled with joy because Jesus, our hope for eternal life through the shedding of his Precious Blood, has won our salvation. Risen, he goes before us as the Victorious Lamb of God.

In this brief Easter reflection, I want to touch on theological HOPE which gives rise to deep and abiding JOY. I am proposing that theological hope (faith, hope and charity) is the firm foundation for our Paschal joy.

When I studied theology in the 1960’s at St. Charles Seminary, we did not do much on hope. In a sense, it was then a forgotten virtue. But when I started to teach theology in the early 1970’s, a whole flood of books and articles on hope appeared. One of the earliest articles that really touched and influenced me was written by our own Fr. Bob Schreiter, C.PP.S.

What caused this upsurge of writings on hope? There are numerous reasons, but very importantly, hope was seen by scholars to be a major movement in the dynamic of Sacred Scriptures where the history of salvation moved from Exodus to the Promised Land, from promise to fulfillment. And this dynamic is effective and trustworthy because it is founded on God, who is always faithful. As spiritual writer Susan Muto put it: “Theological hope is letting go and placing our lot in God’s hands.” She writes “our” lot, which gives another insight into theological hope, showing that it is a community virtue in which we are all recipients and in which we are all contributors!

The French personalist philosopher, Gabriel Marcel, caught this insight well in his beautiful description of hope: “j’espere on toi pour nous” (“I hope in you for us”). We are called to live in hope so as to enlarge one another’s hope. Thus, as an Easter people we are a community of hope-filled people! This makes us a joy-filled community. Leon Bloy wrote that the presence of joy is a sure sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence, assuring us that God is good, that Jesus is risen, and that we are in God’s loving and saving hands. In like manner, Pope Francis wrote recently: “The basic element of joy, then, is profound peace, that imperturbability in the Spirit that remains with us even in the most painful, excruciating moments.” Pope Francis goes on to say, “Long faces cannot proclaim Jesus. Joy and praise of God are the only way to advance the Gospel.”

Let us then, my dear Precious Blood sisters and brothers, live in the hope and joy of the Lord’s resurrection!

Indeed … “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”

M. Rev. Joseph Charron, C.PP.S. (Kansas City)



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